At the age of five, Danielle Wepener picked up a paintbrush, dipped it in fabric paint and doodled on a sheet of fabric. Little did she know that this first attempt at creating something would turn into a lifetime obsession. Abstract expressionist, Jackson Pollock once said that painting has a life of its own and it is the artist’s duty to let that life come out. This rings true when looking at the pieces Danielle creates today.
Because of her talent, Danielle received consecutive postgraduate merit awards to further her studies for a Master of Arts in Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. Danielle’s completed canvases have formed part of many esteemed group exhibitions in Joburg, such as the annual Turbine Art Fair in Newtown and the Painters Show at Kalashnikovv Gallery in Braamfontein. She constructs her own stretch canvases – adding a level of intimacy to her abstract style of work. One of her most notable works (and a personal favourite of ours), Through Surface as Space, hangs at the Turbine Hall in Newtown. Danielle has also won the prestigious Wits Fine Art Martienssen Prize after her second year entering; she had received an honourable mention in her first attempt.
Danielle’s medium of choice depends on what the empty space in front of her calls for. More often than not, the canvas is painted with acrylic and enamel and on other days it yearns for ink. The beauty of creating something captivating without a visual reference – which abstract art is known for – is that it pushes the imagination to its limits. When looking at Danielle’s art, you can almost hear the rhythm of her paintbrush and knife as they tap to their own beat.
Here’s an interview we did with Danielle over a cup of coffee in her hometown of Krugersdorp.
Have a look at Danielle’s website for more information.
Let us know in the comments below what you thought of our interview.
By Shawn Greyling